It was a record setting Wednesday night in Dunk City. Senior point guard Brett Comer tallied 10 assists, breaking the Atlantic Sun's assist mark previously held by Mercer's Langston Hall. Meanwhile, preseason Atlantic Sun Player of the Year Bernard Thompson exploded for a career high and FGCU D-I record 34 points.
The 6-3, Conyers, Ga., native started the game scoring 14 of Florida Gulf Coast's 21 points and ended the day shooting an insanely efficient 14-for-20 from the field. Joe Dooley and the Eagles really needed this out of Thompson after he posted two mediocre performances to begin the season.
Thompson's performance combined with ice cold Ohio shooting made the first half one to forgot for Saul Phillips. The Bobcats converted on a horrid 16.1 percent of their shots before the break, the only bright spot coming at the foul line where Ohio went 9-for-12. Maurice Ndour scored only four points heading into the break due to a gutsy defensive effort from both Nate Hicks and Eric Moeller.
But the senior leadership from the Bobcats enabled them to turn a 25-point halftime deficit into just a 17-point margin in no time. They fed Ndour in the post, and he shook out of his shooting slump while also making some nifty passes to work the inside-out game.
This had the Eagles quite rattled and in an odd sequence of events, Comer received a technical foul following a Marc-Eddy Norelia dunk. Just a few moments later later, the refs T-ed up Eagles head coach Joe Dooley as well. Four sunk free throws cut it to a 10-point FGCU lead, but it would get no closer.
Despite a nasty ankle injury suffered in the first half, Comer dished out five assists after the break and was the key component that allowed Florida Gulf Coast to keep the Bobcats at bay, while the Bernard Thompson show continued.
Saul Phillip's squad leaves Fort Myers with a .500 record on the season, but if not for a stone cold first half, this one could have come down to the wire. The Bobcats return to Athens to host Arkansas-Pine Bluff, beginning a four-game home stand. Meanwhile, Florida Gulf Coast stays in town to battle Marist in the first round of the Gulf Coast Showcase.